“The White Tiger,” directed by Ramin Bahrani

Movie, 2021 Rags to riches tale of a member of a low-caste Indian family, which he achieves through his driving an influential family. The interesting themes and story are matched with some great locations and the contrasts between the haves and have nots, and all the difficulties and corruptions which keep these distinctions in place. The problem, however, is in the voiceover narration, which outstays … Continue reading “The White Tiger,” directed by Ramin Bahrani

"In Custody" by Anita Desai

Novel, 1984 Entertaining and often very funny story about a small town academic, who after being given the chance to interview a literary hero, finds himself exploited and gradually stripped of the means by which he’s keeping his life and sanity together. This is a light, relentless tale using occasionally fairly desperate circumstances to make social points but move the story of Deven’s downfall with … Continue reading "In Custody" by Anita Desai

"The Dark Holds No Terrors", by Shashi Deshpande

Novel, 1980 A story of a career woman whose encounters at home, both when growing up and then in marriage, present her with huge emotional issues. This is a story of how aspirations and rising above preassigned social roles aren’t purely about breaking barriers, but also about huge toil and pressures on relationships. An easy book to get into with a strong narrative voice, and … Continue reading "The Dark Holds No Terrors", by Shashi Deshpande

"Midnight’s Children", by Salman Rushdie

Novel, 1981 Towering novel, charting the story of theĀ main narrator, Saleem Sinai and theĀ formation and early history of India and Pakistan following partition in 1948. This is a book which needs a level of immersion, although despite the narrative tricks and freewheeling scenes and relationships between characters, it’s not overly smart or tricksy. So, a great balance in a tome which punches a huge emotional … Continue reading "Midnight’s Children", by Salman Rushdie

"India" by John Keay

Non fiction, revised 2010 After shopping round to avoid a big, mighty tome listing generals, battles, dates, politicians and treaties, I ended up buying a big, mighty tome listing generals, battles, dates, politicians and treaties. All of which, over 600 pages of quite dense reading, makes for a reading slog and the likelihood of information and having been far from fully and properly absorbed. Still, … Continue reading "India" by John Keay